1. Not knowing your competition. Know if anyone is dominating your niche in the market. I am 70% sure there may be someone doing what you think you have created. Can’t you hear Drunk Uncle from SNL saying “I’m prrrrrrrreetttttyyyy suuuuuurrrrrree…..” someone is already doing that? Do your research!
2. Do not wear high heels during the day so you look like a wounded stork walking through the hotel. This will make people notice you but not in a good way and then you can’t attend the rest of the conference and have to call in wounded the second day.
3. Don’t drink too much and be that guy or that girl. Yes, other people may have been drunk as well but there is a difference between blacking out and getting tipsy. Good tip: Getting married while at a business conference to someone from another country is not for love. Trust me. Green card?
4. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Look at me. For some reason people underestimate the curvy blond girl, with jewels, makeup and heels (I can actually walk in). If you need another example, just look at Mark Zuckerberg.
5. Do not over-commit. Not good to flake – ever! Don’t plan out to do everything but get nothing out of a conference because you are too busy trying to make every single lecture, meet up, evening activity and go shopping.
6. Not eat. You will need food eventually and it is better to eat at normal dining times if not the growling of your stomach could disrupt a great speaker or you could turn into Betty White.
7. Don’t think you know everything. In any and every business there is more to learn each day. Especially, with the advent of social media. So, Mr. Miller Light distributor that offered me a job – yes, Twitter is important and you should have presence at SXSW. That is your new target audience. Hello?
8. Don’t neglect your personal social media channels. How the hell are you supposed to find out about impromptu drinks at that cool bar after your favorite speaker?
9. Don’t neglect your email. Unless you want to come back the following week and sit on your computer until the conference begins the next year. I suggest you clear that shit.
10. Do NOT oversell. Don’t tell people you know a lot but you don’t. If you sell yourself as the next best thing to sliced bread, people will check and when they do, you will want to back up your bragging with examples. I know Grey Goose makes it easy for you to think you are superman but you are not. I promise.
11. Do NOT undersell. Don’t sell yourself short (I am short and it is not all its cracked up to be). Think of a good pitch, use it and revise it depending on your audience.
12. Don’t be without cash. Don’t be that person who is the reason why everyone else at the table missed the featured event of the day. It is hard and time consuming to split checks.
13. Don’t walk around with a mad on. Look alive and really – put a smile on your face. You are at a conference, not a funeral. But, if you keep walking around with a sour puss it could be your career’s funeral.
14. Don’t give stupid answers. When asked about what your company does – don’t explain in Latin (that language is dead btw). Don’t answer, “Who is your target audience?” with “I am looking for Fortune 500 COO’s only”. WORST answer ever! Especially, when it is to me-snarky blogger extraordinaire. You are lucky I am not naming your company here. Douche.
15. Don’t run out of cards or other promotional items. Bring enough and backup. If not, give something cool of yours away. These are always a hit!
16. Don’t blend in. You don’t have to look like everyone else. Stand out (I am not saying wear bandage dresses or flip flops with dress slacks but a little flare helps). A little flare and be sure to check the weather. Just because you are coming to sunny CA does not mean we don’t get cold weather. There is an app for that.
Melanysguydline #65 –DO! Be creative – start something like SMMW14pickuplines – I did! With this!
— MelanysGuydlines ® (@Melanyb12) March 27, 2014
Special shout out to this one from …
— Gina Popovic (@GinaPopovic) March 27, 2014
**Stay snarky my friends!**